A Mitsubishi Worker On The Normal Plant’s Upcoming Closure

December 05, 2015
 
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., plant in Normal, Ill., is shown Thursday, May 20, 2004

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., plant in Normal, Ill., is shown Thursday, May 20, 2004

Seth Perlman/AP

Kent Ferguson is one of the Mitsubishi workers losing his job when the plant in Normal closes in the spring. Ferguson is a tool and die craftsman and told WGLT’s Charlie Schlenker that the plant closing is tough on many employees.

After the announcement that the plant would close and an information session about their severance packages, "some walked away in disgust. Some just walked away. You could tell there was a lot of disappointment." said Ferguson. "I know one of the gentlemen on the lines, he's a bit down, he's been there a long time and he was hoping to end his career there. 

"We made sacrifices for the company and it seemed like they didn't hold up their end of the bargain by keeping the plant open like they said they would," said Ferguson. "We're only building one car and they kept saying they would give us another car to build. 'Cause we've built five models [at once] and eight or more models throughout the years. To build one model is just, well, the line slows way down. They take people off so that one person is doing the job of two or three."

Ferguson interviewed in several places including Chattanooga, Urbana, and at Tesla in California; he took a tool-making test to gain entry to a pool of applicants for Harley Davidson in Menomonee Falls, WI, and more. Since the interview Ferguson has received a job offer from Tesla Motors. He now faces tensions between family and life ties in central Illinois and moving across the country for employment. 

Story source: WILL